Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2007 Daniel Forman. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics & Astronomy Department

First Advisor

Frank Moscatelli


This research attempted to characterize a magneto-optical trap (MOT) through absorption and fluorescence imaging. During the summer of 2006, work was undertaken in the Remote Sensing Division at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC to construct the imaging systems. The fluorescence system measured a trapped atomic population of 8.8 x 10⁶ atoms, while the more accurate absorption system indicated a trapped population of 4.6 x 10⁶ atoms. However, due to the very large imprecision in the fluorescence imaging values, these values are considered to be in agreement with one another, indicating that the imaging systems were functioning. Additional work will allow a time of flight measurement to determine the temperature of the trapped population and the precision of the absorption imaging system. The imaging systems will also be used for analysis of a Bose Einstein Condensate that the laboratory is in the process of creating.